Well suited for a cranked TS-style stomp and a clean amp.
With nine different pickup combos, it's pretty easy to find variations on those classic Gibson sounds as well as tones for settings from Jimmy Nolen funk to creamy classic-rock leads. The DockStar's humbuckers might be just a bit hot for those who are purists about vintage humbucker tones - especially the bridge pickup. Interestingly, the extra bite reacted well to various overdrive and distortion pedals, but it lacks a little some of the airy character that I like in low-output humbuckers. The neck pickup has a unique roundness - evoking tones somewhere between Larry Carlton and B.B. King - that is especially well suited for a cranked TS-style stomp and a clean amp.
Jason Shadrick Premier Guitar Magazine Read the full review at Premier Guitar Online
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When I first received my Koa I was truly shocked how beautiful it was.
When I first received my Koa I was truly shocked how beautiful it was. I really didn't know what to expect. I purchased the upgraded version (pick-ups 59's, tuning heads, and wiring, i kept the bone nut) as I want to see the full versatility and tone spectrum. I have been playing guitar for 20 years and only ever played with one electric. A 1974 Les Paul Custom. I have been become so used to this guitar I was worried that i wouldn't like the Koa in comparison. The bottom line:
Customer Service: Fred was awesome. Personally answered many questions was extremely nice and it seems he really cares about doing good business. Always a good first sign, he also got the guitar to me in time for a big gig. It arrived a few dyas before. Total buy to receive time was about 30 days.
Quality: For the price you are getting a very good build. Of course its not a vintage guitar from the 60's or 70's but you should not expect that. Comes with a great case. I wish teh wires were not visible but I got over that quickly.
Feel: Being used to the Les Paul I was at first, nervous. The neck is wider and deeper and also longer. I have owned the guitar about 90 days, and played one gig and many hours of rehearsal and I really like the feel. Somedays I actually prefer it over the Les Paul. I had it set up by my guy and even lowered the action a tiny bit more. The one thing I noticed was that the floating bridge was set up a tad off. The high E was falling off the neck and it was very annoying. I put heavier strings on 11 gauge and the extra tension and professional setup seems to have fixed this issue of it sliding around.
Tone: This is where I have been pretty blown away. I often switch back and forth from the LP and Koa to compare. At first I had some issues with feedback and finding the sweet spots but now I am really hitting a groove. The sustain is really amazing. I play through a 74 Twin Reverb and two tube screamers, I have a boss compressor but do not use it all the time because I hate losing the tone. The sweet spots of the hollow-body is a new thing for me, and there is no mistaking, once you find it you realize you have a guitar that can do things that the solid body cannot. i feel bad even saying that. The coil taps make it very versatile but I admit I usually go between bridge and neck. The bridge has serious bite and really has that vintage Trey tone. The neck also has a beautiful tone for chords and for fuller jazzier sounds.
Overall: I am keeping it. The more I play it the more I like it. Very happy and now thinking about the Liger!
Jay from Boomsoss!
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An Amazing Versatile Machine!
I've had this guitar for several months now, and I absolutely love it! I mainly played a Stratocaster before getting this guitar, but I was looking for a jazzier, hollow body guitar. Of course, I always loved the look of Trey Anastasio's guitar because it was the best of both worlds! Basically, it's a hollowed out strat!
I decided to check a chance on Phred after hearing of them in an online forum. As soon as I got the guitar, I was in love. It plays really really well out of the box. I did have to do some intonation fixes (adjusted the bridge placement just a hair), but that's pretty standard after getting a guitar shipped to you. Aside from that, I just had to plug it in and play! It should also be noted that I asked for slightly thicker strings (for jazz) and that could have messed with their usual guitar set-up.
It has such a warm tone that is so unique. The totally hollow body feels so weird (in an awesome way) and is really fun to play without plugging in.
My only complaint is that the stock pickups are really just ehh. They're not the worst pick-ups ever, but they definitely don't let the guitar release it's full potential.
I love this guitar. I can't recommend it enough to somebody looking for a more adaptable hollow-body guitar.
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I had been on the fence about ordering a dockstar koa for a long time and I couldn't bring myself to spend the money without playing one first. My wife decided to surprise me for my birthday a few months ago and ordered me one. (Yes, she's amazing)
This guitar is truly incredible for what it is. I've had a number of hollow and semi-hollow electrics over the years (Telecaster '72 thinline, Gretsch 5420T, Epiphone Sheraton, Gibson 335) and the Dockstar takes a lot of the features that I love from all of these guitars and puts them together in one great package for a much more affordable price!
The set up out of the box was solid, and I only had to make a few very minor adjustments. Overall the guitar feels, looks, and sounds amazing. I am considering replacing the pickups in order to get a little extra something out of the guitar, but that being said, the stock pickups do a great job for the average enthusiast.
Freddy provided a first class customer experience from start to finish. He was able to rush the order for my wife so that the guitar arrived (in Canada) by my birthday, and he kept her in the loop every step of the way - thanks Freddy!